Important Information about October 2017 NSLDS Enrollment Rosters

The Clearinghouse has identified approximately 700 institutions for whom the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) did not send an October enrollment roster. We were expecting to receive a roster from NSLDS based upon the NSLDS/SSCR Enrollment Reporting Roster schedule we have established for each of these institutions.

We have notified the NSLDS and Federal Student Aid (FSA) of the issue and requested that they create and send to us an ad hoc roster for processing.

IMPORTANT: NSLDS has confirmed there is no obligation to respond to the roster within 15 days, if your institution was one of those for which an SSCR roster was not sent by NSLDS. However, the Clearinghouse is keenly aware of how critical timely reporting to the Department of Education is, including the requirement to report changes in student statuses within 60 days.

On behalf of all impacted institutions, the Clearinghouse has taken the following actions:

  1. Notified NSLDS of the missing rosters that were confirmed as not yet sent by NSLDS
  2. Reached out to our FSA contacts requesting additional support regarding this issue. We also requested that an ad hoc roster from NSLDS be created for those institutions that were impacted and sent to the Clearinghouse.
  3. Communicated directly with our impacted schools regarding the missing rosters
  4. Posted this notification on our Audit Resource Center blog for additional transparency for our institutions

We will continue to work with NSLDS and FSA until this issue is resolved and communicate updates on our progress via our Compliance Central page, Audit Resource Center blog, and email.

If you need assistance with your Enrollment Reporting, or have questions related to compliance that you would like to send to the Clearinghouse, please contact us by emailing service@studentclearinghouse.org or calling 703.742.4200, prompt 7, option 2.

 

Resources

Don’t Miss Our “G from Degree: Transparency Enhancement” Webinar

Register Now for Our October 5th or 10th Live Webinar Sessions

Do you participate in the Clearinghouse’s G from Degree process? If so, you won’t want to miss our new 60-minute webinar, “G from Degree: Transparency Enhancement.”

As a G from Degree participant, the Clearinghouse generates a G (graduation) status in our enrollment database from the degree file your school sends to us. The data in our enrollment database is then sent to the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) to complete Title IV compliance reporting. However, there are some scenarios in which a G status is not generated from your school’s degree file.

During our “G from Degree: Transparency Enhancement” webinar, we will explain the reasons a G status may not be generated in the Clearinghouse enrollment database.

Webinar Also Offers a Look at Our New G from Degree Enhancement

Attending our webinar also provides an opportunity for you to get a look at the G from Degree enhancement the Clearinghouse is releasing in mid-October. Using our enhancement, you will be able to review students who had a G status applied to their record in the Clearinghouse enrollment database as well as those who did not have a G status applied to their record in our database. This enhancement also helps fulfill the Clearinghouse’s goal to provide transparency behind our processes to our schools.

What You Will Learn During Our Webinar

During our webinar, you will learn:

  • Why a G status may not be generated for a student
  • How to use our new G from Degree enhancement, including how to review students who had a G status applied and those who did not and how to export the information to Excel
  • How to update the G status for students who did not have a G status applied in the Clearinghouse enrollment database

Register Now for Our Webinar on October 5th or 10th

Please join us for one of the two upcoming “G from Degree: Transparency Enhancement” webinars.

If you have any questions on G from Degree or the upcoming enhancement or need assistance, please contact the Clearinghouse at 703.742.4200 (select options #7, #4) or service@studentclearinghouse.org.

We also invite you to “Join the Journey” as the Clearinghouse gets a head start on our 25th anniversary as your trusted partner in 2018 with an academic year filled with new events, services, and more.

Resources

  • “G from Degree: Transparency Enhancement” webinar on October 5 at 2 PM, ET. Register now.
  • “G from Degree: Transparency Enhancement” webinar on October 10, at 1 PM, ET. Register now.
  • Clearinghouse Academy: Learning resources and events
  • Compliance Central: Updates, tips and resources to help you stay in compliance

ED to Stop Using Transfer Monitoring and Financial Aid Queries to Add Students Back to Enrollment Rosters

We have important news to share on a change that has been made by the Department of Education (ED) regarding an issue that was negatively impacting the Enrollment Statistics score that the NSLDS calculates for institutions. (NSLDS, or the National Student Loan Data System, is the ED’s central database that keeps track of how much federal student loan debt a student has.)

Why Were Transfer Monitoring and Financial Aid Queries a Problem?

Financial Aid History and Transfer Student Monitoring reports were causing students to be added to the NSLDS’s Enrollment Roster for an institution. Frequently, there was no program-level information associated with these students because they were last reported prior to the 150 percent reporting regulations (when program-level data was not required) or they had not yet enrolled. This resulted in a lower percentage of students with program information being reported and, ultimately, a lower Enrollment Statistics score being assigned by NSLDS for the institution.

New ED Guidance Expected Soon from Federal Student Aid (FSA)

Through our ongoing collaboration with Department of Education (ED), the Clearinghouse was recently advised that ED will no longer use Transfer Student Monitoring or Financial Aid History queries to add students to rosters. The immediate result will be to prevent “pre-150 percent” students and students that have not enrolled from impacting an institution’s certified with program-level score. If your institution’s score has been negatively impacted by this issue in the past, it should not be an issue moving forward.

Federal Student Aid (FSA), the Department of Education office that manages the student financial assistance programs authorized under Title IV, has advised us that they will publish guidance on this change in the near future.

Updates on this topic will continue to be posted. So stay tuned to our Compliance Central page and Audit Resource Center blog for more information as we learn additional details!

We also invite you to “Join the Journey” as the Clearinghouse gets a head start on our 25th anniversary as your trusted partner in 2018 with an academic year filled with new events, services, and more.

Resources

Clearinghouse Academy: Learning resources and events

Compliance Central: Updates, tips and resources to help you stay in compliance

 

Summer, Less Than Half-Time Reporting for Non-Required Terms to Date

On April 20, 2017, the Department of Education (ED) released new summer enrollment reporting guidance.  The announcement relates specifically to how to report students who are “L” (Less Than Half-Time) time during a non-required, summer term.  Because we understand the impact of this change and when it was announced as the summer term began, the Clearinghouse requested clarification on specific items noted within the announcement from ED on May 1, 2017. We also posted a communication to Clearinghouse participating schools the same day, advising of our inquiry to ED.

In response to the above guidance and the urgency of this, we implemented and released an enhancement on May 15, 2017, that changes how “L” (Less Than Half-Time) enrollment statuses are reported to NSLDS during non-required summer terms.

  • This change complies with ED’s requirements as it suppresses “L” (Less Than Half-Time) statuses during non-required, summer terms, and therefore, prevents them from being reported to NSLDS.

This is the first of multiple enhancements to fulfill this requirement.

PLEASE NOTE: The Clearinghouse will notify NSLDS of students reported to us by schools in a withdrawn status during the summer term.  Your institution should only report withdrawn statuses during the summer if you do not anticipate the student returning during the fall term.

What’s Coming

We will continue to seek clarity from the Department of Education on how to appropriately certify and send out spring enrollment data during the summer instead of summer data as is cited in the new summer enrollment reporting guidance.

In addition, to best adhere to the evolving guidance from ED and the data integrity needs of our participating institutions, by September 1st, we will be completing the following enhancements:

  • Suppressing “L” (Less Than Half-Time) enrolled students reported in a non-required term from being added to your school’s SSCR roster.
  • Sending previous non-standard greater than “L” (Less Than Half-Time) enrollment in lieu of Less Than Half-Time enrollment during a non-standard summer term

This newly implemented change to Clearinghouse reporting to NSLDS assists schools by allowing them to report the actual enrollment status of a student during the non-required, summer term while still meeting the requirement noted by ED.

We value our partnership with you and encourage you to please continue to visit our Compliance Central page for updates on the summer “L” (Less Than Half-Time) requirements, as well as for a “Coming Soon! G from DegreeVerify Enhancement” announcement and other resources. Also, please be on the lookout in August for our new Fall 2017 Clearinghouse Academy Live in Your Neighborhood Schedule.

For additional information, see our FAQs below. If you have any questions, please contact SchoolOp@studentclearinghouse.org.

Frequently Asked Questions


What did the Department of Education announce regarding reporting Summer LTH records and when?

On  April 20, 2017, the Department of Education published an e-announcement regarding the compliance requirements for reporting less-than half-time (L) students during non-required summer terms.  The letter indicates that students should not be reported to NSLDS as less than half time during non-required summer terms.  In lieu of reporting the less than half time status, ED indicates that the student’s last certified spring enrollment status should be sent throughout the summer with a new certification date.


Does this new requirement require a change to my compliance enrollment reporting that I send to the Clearinghouse?

No.


What has the Clearinghouse done in response to the announcement from ED?

The Clearinghouse requested clarification on specific items noted within the announcement from ED on May 1, 2017 and posted a communication to Clearinghouse participating schools on May 1, 2017, advising of our inquiry to ED.  On May 15, 2017, we implemented a change to how Less Than Half-Time (L) enrollment statuses are reported to NSLDS.  This change complies with ED’s requirements as it suppresses less than half-time statuses during non-required, summer terms, and therefore, prevents them from being reported to NSLDS.


Will the Clearinghouse continue to send out Withdrawal “W” statuses during non-required terms?

Yes. The Clearinghouse will continue to send out “W” statuses during non-required terms for compliance reporting purposes.  Withdrawal statuses that are reported to the Clearinghouse for students who have financial aid and are included on the SSCR roster from NSLDS will be sent to NSLDS on your school’s SSCR roster response.


How does the new Summer/Non-required ED guidance impact a student’s Subsidized Usage Limit (SULA)?

The new summer/non-required ED does not impact a student’s SULA, as during non-required terms, students are considered to be continuously enrolled, unless, they have indicated otherwise to the institution.  The NSLDS Enrollment Reporting Guide states:

“Students are considered to be in school and continuously enrolled during academic year holiday and vacation periods, as well as during the summer between academic years (even if not enrolled in a summer session) as long as there is reason to believe that they intend to enroll for the next regularly scheduled term. For example, students should not be reported as “Withdrawn” at the end of the spring term if they are expected to reenroll for the fall term. In this case, schools should continue to report the student’s last enrollment status through the summer months (or through another non-required period of attendance). However, if the student does not return as expected, the status must be changed to “Withdrawn” with the appropriate effective date.”


What can I do to ensure my summer enrollment reporting is correct/reported correctly?

Typically, many schools calculate credit or clock hours differently during non-required summer terms than during required fall and spring terms. For example, a student may be considered half time during the summer months for taking one course, because the summer term is shorter in length and credit/clock hour calculations differ.  Please ensure that withdrawal statuses are only sent to the Clearinghouse during non-required terms when the student has withdrawn completely from the institution, not when the student drops a course during a non-required term.

In addition, if your school has an articulation/consortium agreement with another institution, please ensure to only report the student population that falls under the agreement and is attending your home institution.   Reporting students that fall under a consortium agreement that are not attending your institution as their home institution can cause students to be added to two different institution’s SSCR rosters which is considered inaccurate reporting.

Accuracy in reporting the enrollment status for students enrolled in the summer is crucial compliance enrollment reporting. Please review your enrollment reporting calculations to ensure your summer calculations are accurate prior to submitting your summer file.  If you have any questions, please contact SchoolOp@studentclearinghouse.org.

Important NSLDS Change to the SSCR Error Corrections Process

As a part of your compliance reporting service, the National Student Clearinghouse responds to NSLDS on your behalf, providing up-to-date information on your students, who have been identified as possible Title IV Aid or Direct Loan recipients. We work closely with you to ensure your data passes a series of robust validations throughout our enrollment reporting data intake process. In certain instances, there are records reported to NSLDS during the SSCR Roster response process that do not pass NSLDS’s edits and, as a result, are rejected.

Historically, responding to the SSCR Error Report within 10 days fulfills the federal requirement. The Clearinghouse has consistently done this on your behalf and will continue to do so. Recently, NSLDS and FSA have focused on ensuring schools correct students with errors vs. the requirement to respond within the 10-day timeframe. This is emphasized in the most recent NSLDS Enrollment Reporting Guide, published in November 2016, which states on page 7: Schools must also correct any returned errors that are identified by NSLDS within 10 business days.

The Clearinghouse released new functionality in December 2016 so your institution can view and correct these SSCR errors. Our system automatically sends you an email notifying you that your SSCR errors are ready for review. This is a trigger to let you know that the Clearinghouse has received your SSCR Error Report from NSLDS and it is ready to be worked. You can now see and correct SSCR errors through the Clearinghouse’s secure site. (Note: SSCR errors are different than those associated with the enrollment reporting files you send to us, so it’s not unusual if this is the first time you have ever seen SSCR errors.)

Because NSLDS has started to focus more on schools fixing their errors from roster to roster, as your partner, we wanted to ensure we made you aware of this important change and are working in partnership with you to meet these new requirements.

We encourage you to sign up on our Clearinghouse Academy page for our live webinars on SSCR error resolution (as well as the other useful webinars that are also available) or one of our free in-person “Clearinghouse Academy in Your Neighborhood” events, when we come to your area.

Don’t forget to visit our Compliance Central page regularly for updates on this process and other key compliance information.

To learn how to use our SSCR Error Correction functionality, watch our short tutorial.

 

Watch Our Online SSCR Error Correction Tutorial

Our new online SSCR Error Correction system is now live!

For a look at our innovative functionality and to learn how you can view and correct your institution’s SSCR errors on the Clearinghouse secure site, watch our brief online tutorial now.

Correct SSCR/Enrollment Roster Errors Online!

The Clearinghouse is updating the way you view and correct errors on your SSCR Error Reports. We communicated earlier in the year that this new functionality was going to be delivered by year’s end. We are pleased to announce that these functions are now available for you to use.

Our new SSCR error correction functionality moves the entire process online so you can:

  • See which students have SSCR errors and the associated error description
  • Understand how to fix the errors
  • Have greater control of how to correct the errors online

And you can do it all on the Clearinghouse secure Web site.

As NSLDS outlines in its Enrollment Reporting Guide and its latest Newsletter #56, correcting SSCR errors is a compliance reporting requirement. In order to help keep you in compliance, the Clearinghouse returns your SSCR Error Report for you within NSLDS’s timeframe, which we will continue to do even now that our new functionality is in place.

Watch for more information and training on this exciting enhancement through our Clearinghouse Academy. In the meantime, contact us at SchoolOps@studentclearinghouse.org, if you have any questions.

Clearinghouse’s 2015-2016 Annual Audit Now Available

The Clearinghouse’s 2015-2016 Annual Audit and Division of Responsibilities are available on the Resources page of the Audit Resource Center site. RSM US, LLP, conducted the independent audit of the Clearinghouse’s compliance with applicable Federal Student Financial Assistance programs. The annual audit covers the time period from July 1, 2015, to June 30, 2016. The review was conducted in accordance with the U.S. Department of Education’s audit guide, “Audits of Federal Student Financial Assistance Programs at Participating Institutions and Institution Servicers.” The Clearinghouse received no audit findings.

Welcome!

Hello and welcome to the Audit Resource Center’s new website and blog! Thank you for visiting our new site. As part of our ongoing effort to provide up-to-date and important information, the Audit Resource team developed this new site (with the help of our genius marketing department), which we hope will deliver to you information that addresses all of your compliance needs.

To start off, we want to hear from you, our customers. What would you like to see on our new site? Any particular information or explanations of specific regulations? Leave a comment below!